As a teenager, Mark Pinnell never knew what he wanted to do when he grew up. “Becoming a PADI Dive Instructor and setting up a dive shop on an island I thought was just a weird blue cocktail [Curaçao] was nothing I’d ever vaguely considered,” Pinnell says. “Since I still didn’t know what I wanted in life as a young adult, I set off on an adventure in search of answers.”
That was how he ended up in a glacial lake in New Zealand for his PADI Open Water Diver course, an event that changed him.
“Diving may not be most people’s first idea of a career but it certainly turned out to be mine, and I wouldn’t change any of it, even if I could,” says Pinnell. More than 15 years later, Pinnell is PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer dedicated to protecting our oceans and its reefs, in partnership with Project AWARE.
“My mission is to keep on living the dream, making people fall in love with diving, on beautiful reefs that we all help keep beautiful,” he says.
- Became a PADI Instructor, finally finding something he really wanted to be
- Started a PADI Dive Center from the ground up, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015
- Tested “very cool” underwater products
- Created artificial reefs from intentionally sunken ships
- Partners with Project AWARE to keep Curaçao’s reefs healthy and clean
- Underwater model for well-known underwater photographers and videographers